Last weekend, I went on a PSO day hike in Mt. Rainier national park. I found myself, on the last Saturday of September, which was resplendently sunny and golden-lit, 6,000 feet up and blissfully content.
We took a few moments before hiking back down the trail to meditate and write at the top of the world, and it was the happiest fiteen minutes I had enjoyed in weeks. I wrote a poem about mountains and God. I munched on vanilla almond granola. I felt beauty soak into the pores of my skin. I found peace.
This experience was part of a commitment to myself this semester, to practice self love in my own unique way. I encourage you to do the same, becuase this pact between me and me has made the bad days better and the good days extraordinary.
This does not have to mean taking long baths and buying yourself chocolate. It can, and maybe it does. But for me, self love means more than that. It means seeing as much nature as possible. Trees are a balm for aching souls. it also means sweating as often as I can. This means climbing walls and yoga studios and treadmills. It means putting off homework to go for a run. It means seeing my friends as often and in as many different contexts as I can, whether it’s 1 am on a Saturday night or a quiet Monday morning breakfast.
I also try to love my body by nourishing it. Last night, I went to the cellar with friends, and instead of being tempted by the ice cream, I found myself drawn to the new smoothie menu, particularly (strangely) the avocado one. When my smoothie came, it was creamy and thick and green and delightful. It was a beautiful color, and I wished I could paint my room with that shade. It was just what I needed.
I love my mind, by pushing it hard. This semester, i am working harder than I ever have.I am reading more than I have ever been asked to read, about things that are complex and deeply challenging. I am thrilled with this.
Loving myself is about finding balance, about caring for all the aspects of my being.
The first few weeks of this semester have been difficult for me, in truth. They have involved a pulled tooth, a nasty cold, and a smattering of stress. But these small moments, these remidners that I need the same care and kindness I offer the world, have brought sunshine to them.
So cheers to mountains, climbing walls, and avocado smoothies.
And thank God it’s the weekend.